Geologists have discovered a new continent to the east of Australia that they have named Zealandia. Researchers said Zealandia covers about 4.9-million square kilometers or nearly 1.9-million square miles, but around 94 percent of the continent is submerged in the ocean.
Researchers explained in the Geological Society of America journal, GSA Today, “This is not a sudden discovery but a gradual realization; as recently as 10 years ago we would not have had the accumulated data or confidence in interpretation to write this paper”.
Researchers claim that New Zealand and New Caledonia aren’t merely an island chain, but are part of a single continent which is distinct from Australia. Researchers assume this newly discovered continent was, in fact, part of the Gondwana super-continent that broke away about 100 million years ago. Zealandia would be the ‘youngest, thinnest, and most submerged’ of the continents and it may have fossil fuels worth billions of dollars.
Bruce Luyendyk, a geophysicist at the University of California, said, “These people here are A-list earth scientists, I think they’ve put together a solid collection of evidence that’s really thorough. I don’t see that there’s going to be a lot of pushback, except maybe around the edges.”